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Economic Development Newsnews
Explore the Opportunity Zone Mapping Tool and Presentation | GCEDD 

The Gulf Coast Economic Development District's quarterly meeting was January 18. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) discussed opportunity zones and the potential impacts they may have in the region. LISC's presentation can be found online.
 
Additionally, H-GAC released a new opportunity zone mapping tool that provides socio-economic data and the location of opportunity zones throughout the region.
 

For more information, contact Joshua Owens at 832-681-2613.
Apply for Regional Innovation Strategies Program | April 4 Deadline | EDA 

The EDA is currently accepting applications for this year's Regional Innovation Strategies Program. Cities, counties, and non-profits are included in eligible applicants.The program has two separate challenges: 
  • FY19 i6 Challenge - catalyzing high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the country, the i6 Challenge awards up to $750,000 for projects that increase regional  capacity to accelerate the translation of innovations, ideas, intellectual property, and research into products,  services, companies, and jobs.
  • FY19 Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant Competition - unlocking risk capital for entrepreneurs and startups to grow, SFS grants provide up to $300,000 for projects that create, launch, or expand equity-based seed funds or that create networks and tools that enable capital to flow into high-growth startups in all parts of the U.S.
The RIS Program is managed by the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and more information can be found on the  RIS webpage.
Attend the Next Bringing Back Main Street | April 23 | H-GAC

Save the date for H-GAC's next Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, April 23rd. 

The location and topic are to be determined. H-GAC hosts quarterly roundtables to help local governments, chambers of commerce, and economic development interests promote the economic revitalization of downtown areas.
 
In January, the Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable was held in Angleton. Jason Vandever, Energy Code Program Manager at SPEER, shared his knowledge on meeting building codes and standards when renovating old or historic buildings in downtown. Jason's presentation was followed by a tour of two renovated buildings in downtown Angleton led by Martha Eighme, City of Angleton's Economic Development and Tourism Director.
 
For more information, contact Joey Kaspar 713-993-4547.
Disaster Recovery Program | IEDC

International Economic Development Council logo with The Power of Knowledge and Leadership wordmark
The International Economic Development Council is placing experienced economic development professionals as volunteers in economic development organizations throughout the region that can use expert input doing various tasks such as: attracting inward investment, branding and marketing, business outreach, retention and recovery, community outreach, finance, flood control and mitigation, grant writing, strategic planning, and training/education. 

Thanks to U.S. Economic Development Administration funding, the volunteers - who typically come for five days and then do supplementary work remotely - are
completely free of charge to organizations in the region

For more information, contact Joshua Owens at 832-681-2613.

CEDS Updates
December Gulf Coast Labor Market Analysis | Workforce Solutions

workforce Solutions Logo
Workforce Solutions provides a monthly analysis of the Gulf Coast region's labor market. Some highlights from the December 2018 report are:
  • Employers in the Houston-Galveston region added 3,700 jobs during the month of December 2018
  • Warehousing and distribution jobs grew the most with about 3,900 positions added
  • 3.9 percent regional unemployment rate; total Nonfarm employment stood at 3,181,700 in December, up 3,700 jobs over the month, or 0.1 percent
The report highlights data from the Texas Workforce Commission and the Bureau of Labor Statistics focusing on the region's 13 counties. Reports from January to December 2018 are available on Workforce Solutions' webpage.

New Community Toolkit for Broadband  | Released January 2019

Increasing broadband availability throughout the region particularly in rural areas is one of the GCEDD's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy's (CEDS) themes. This new toolkit provides advice for local communities looking to strengthen or build a broadband network within their own community.

The toolkit, developed by Next Century Cities provides several case studies and lessons learned from successful projects around the United States.


Economic Resilience
Investments Working to Spur Development | City of Houston 

East End, in the City of Houston, provides an example of a community working to invest to spur development. The Greater East End Management District (GEEMD), with support from H-GAC, funded a series of planning studies to identify needed investments in the community. 

Following-through on these study recommendations, the GEEMD secured over $31 million in infrastructure investments, leveraging local, state, and federal partnerships to bring in $5 for every $1 of GEEMD money spent. These investments improve the quality of life and sense of place for the East End ultimately addressing a variety of the East End's challenges to create a unique and more resilient community. 

For more information explore the H-GAC's Economic Resilience Plan in the Defending Great Places section.

Funding Opportunitiesfunding
USDA Rural Broadband Access Loan Program |Continuous Through 2019

Applicants including local governments, non-profit, and for-profit companies can now apply for this US Department of Agriculture Rural Broadband Access Loan program. 

Program funds pay for the construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities required to provide service at the broadband lending speed throughout eligible rural areas including facilities required for providing other services through the same facilities. 

Loan amount and terms vary by project and location. For more information visit the USDA's website.

Hurricane Harvey Funding Available | EDA | Continuous

The U.S. Economic Development Administration's (EDA) Austin regional office received $129,119,000 in supplemental funding for disaster relief and is actively seeking projects to help communities in the region recover from Hurricane Harvey. The released Notice of Funding Opportunity outlines the requirements, which include the following:
  • Projects require a 20% match, which can include in-kind
  • Typical projects will range from $1 million - $2.5 million
  • Projects must demonstrate a nexus to Harvey in terms of economic recovery or resilience
  • Eligible applicants include governments, non-profits, and universities
For more information, contact Joshua Owens or Robert Peche of the EDA.

Funding for Clean Vehicle Programs | H-GAC | Continuous

H-GAC's Clean Vehicles program has grant funding available for local governments, school districts, and businesses to accelerate the replacement of high-emitting and heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses with new, lower emission vehicles. The program funds projects in the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria nonattainment area. Previously funded projects include clean diesel and alternative fuel bus and truck replacements, natural gas refueling systems, hybrid electric transit buses, and marine vessel engine replacements. More information is available online.
 
Funding for Commuter and Transit Programs | H-GAC | August 2022

H-GAC is requesting applications from local communities in the Metropolitan Planning Area for pilot programs that assist in the development of alternative travel modes that will help to improve air quality throughout the region. Projects may include, but are not limited to, new commuter bus services, suburban to suburban employment commuter services and first to last mile services. Funding is available from $150,000 to $1.6 million. More information about H-GAC's Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Commuter and Transit Pilot Program, including how to apply, is available online.

Manufacturing Innovation Challenge | U.S Department of Energy | Ongoing

The U.S. Department of Energy is offering a series of cash prizes for innovations in next generation manufacturing technologies. The Challenge offers applicants an opportunity to submit innovative design concepts for additive manufacturing and other topics within several technology areas, including bioenergy, buildings, fuel cells, and vehicle technologies.
 
Individual prizes ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 will be awarded to innovators with the best solutions for today's manufacturing challenges. Specific challenges and deadlines are soon to be announced.
Upcoming Developments

A 20-story, 50-unit condominium building is planned on a former furniture store at 3723 Westheimer between Timmons and Weslayan, Houston.

Construction on Thompson Intermediate School will begin in August at the northwest corner of Country Club Drive and Antrim Street in Pearland. The $37.5 million, 178,000 square-foot project is expected to be completed by August 2021.
 
Avenue Community Development Corporation plans to develop a mixed-use community center north of downtown Houston. The development will be three-stories, and 30,500 square feet at 3527 Irvington Boulevard. The project is expected to open in early 2020 and it will contain a health clinic, an early childhood education center, and Avenue's Headquarters.

UTHealth Continuum of Care Campus for Behavioral Health, a joint project between the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and the Texas State Health and Human Services Commission, will break ground this summer. The $125 million mental health facility will be at 5601 W. Leland Anderson Street next to the UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Center in Houston.

Lone Star College will build a 65,000 square-foot Lone Star College-Magnolia Center at 505 FM 1486, across from Magnolia West High School. The $28.9 million center is set to open by the fall 2021 semester.

Novel River Oaks is planned at 2511 Willowick Road, Houston, the site of former senior community. The new development will feature 330 apartments over eight-stories and a row of town-homes. It will also include 14,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the ground floor. It is expected to open in 2020.
 
A new 338-unit apartment project broke ground near the Texas Medical Center, in Houston. Alta Med Main will be located at 9330 Main and should be open by spring 2020.

A tactical training center for the Houston Police Department broke ground in January. The $10 million project Tilman Fertitta Family Tactical Training Center will be at 1700 Aldine Westfield near the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The 44,000 square-foot, two-story facility is expected to open in December.

Construction on Innovation Tower in the Texas Medical Center is expected to begin later this year. Phase one will consist of 476,500 square feet of office space and a parking garage. Phase two will depend on the market, but it may include 410 luxury residential space or additional medical and life science office space. The project is expected to be 48 stories and 1.6 million square feet. Innovation Tower will be at 6700 Main St.,Houston the site of SureStay Plus Hotel By Best Western.

MD Anderson Cancer Center will open a new 260,000 square foot outpatient center  at 13900 I-10 in the Katy area, between Eldridge Road and Park & Ride Drive. The new facility is expected to have 150 full-time employees.

The University of Texas MD Cancer Center three-story, 208,000- square-foot outpatient clinic will open in September 2019. The facility will be located at the southwest corner of the intersection of College Park Drive and Fellowship Drive.


Compiled from reports in  Community Impact Newspapers, Houston Business Journal, and Houston Chronicle
Upcoming Events

February 20-22 | TEDC Legislative Conference | TEDC | Austin

February 21 | Be Your Own Best Advocate | IEDC | Webinar

March 20 |  An Afternoon with the CEDS  | NADO | Arlington, Virginia 


March 21 | Get in the (Opportunity) Zone | IEDC | Webinar

March 27 | Urban Marketplace | ULI | Houston 


November 2018 - April 2019 | LISC's How to Do Creative Placemaking! | Webinars

May 22 | Long-term Equitable Development | Kinder Institute | Houston

May 22 | Talent Attraction | TEDC | Webinar

May 24 |  State of the City | GHP | Houston 

June 9-11 | Economic Future Forum | IEDC | Salt Lake City, Utah  

June 12-14 | Mid Year Conference | TEDC | Rockwall, Texas  

June 17-19 | Regional Transportation Conference | NADO | Columbus, Ohio 

August 23 | Tax Workshop | TEDC | Abilene 

October 9-11 | Annual Conference | TEDC | San Antonio 

October 13-16 | Annual Conference | IEDC | Indianapolis, Indiana 

October 19-22 | Annual Training Conference | NADO | Reno, Nevada 

The Economic Development Digest is published quarterly by the
Gulf Coast Economic Development District.  

Houston-Galveston Area Council, 3555 Timmons Lane, Suite 120, Houston, TX 77027
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